Posted in after the diagnosis, coping with chronic illness, coping with life threatening illness, living with chronic illness, Living with Illness

Good Doctor or Bad Patient?

Ever wonder why we tend to think in extremes?  Life is a continuum so where’s the gray in our black and white culture?  Why have we become at ease praising doctors for our health and blaming patients for the body’s refusal to accept the treatment regimen?  It’s an interesting dilemma and one that often puts patients and doctors at polarized ends of the continuum.

When can we create collaborative ventures?  How can you, the patient, be commended for your commitment and perseverance in striving for health?  How can we command respect from doctors so that our voice can be heard?  I believe that as patients we are just as responsible or our success as our medical team; after all they couldn’t be a success without us!

Why does blame come so easy?  Shouldn’t we be delving deeper into the patients narrative to see why treatments are as successful as we’d like them to be?  Are there parts of the story that we don’t hear, or don’t care to hear?  How could your story unlock the mysteries your medical team needs to propel you toward health and healing?

I know it’s a complicated issue, but medical training is changing.  We as patients have to remember that it could take the better part of a generation for these changing on patient-centric care to become prominent.  The old guard who were trained with the doctor-as-god model are slowly retiring and a new generation of medical professionals are showing up with a more collaborative consciousness. 

The rise of mid-level medical practitioners has been a huge boost to the collaborative mind-set.  Physician’s Assistants (PA) and Nurse Practitioners have led the charge in more interdependency between medical provider and patient.  They’re training emphasized the patient connection and that’s been a blessing for many of us who see multiple doctors.

Success doesn’t get a plus in the doctor’s column, and failure of treatment isn’t the patient’s fault.  If we as humans could negotiate with our cells and organs maybe that would be a different story.  Until that’s possible all you can do is employ health promoting behaviors and be empowered on your journey to wellness.


I've lived my life in service to others. I'm focused on mental health and how it impacts our relationships, culture, and society. Through creative expression and narrative I believe we can impact change.

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